Florida has long been known for its affordable cost of living, vacation-like attitude, and slower pace. But Tampa is no longer a spot just for vacationers and retirees. It's building quite a tech community. With several large tech companies, as well as MacDill Air Force Base, the opportunities are more varied than one might imagine.
Often referred to as the Tampa Bay Area because of the close proximity of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater, as well as a number of other beach communities, this area is looking to bring (and keep) information technology professionals here. Groups like the Tampa Bay Technology Forum provide networking opportunities to those in the tech industry.
Tampa, FL IT Job Market
Tech Data, a fortune 500 company, is one of the largest employers of technology professionals and listed by Fortune as one of its "Most Admired" companies. The U.S. Central Command or CENTCOM is located at MacDill Air Force Base and offers a number of opportunities in cybersecurity and other fields.
While the salaries may not be what some other cities offer, the dearth of people in technology has made those who move here quite in demand. There are more IT jobs in Tampa, FL than there are people to fill them, but the community is trying to change this. Tamp Bay WaVe, a technology incubator, has helped launch over 100 startups and offers co-working facilities. The Tampa Bay Technology Forum is the area's tech advocacy group, which looks to recruit and build a stronger tech community.
IT Salaries in Tampa, FL
Due to Tampa's affordability factor, the salaries are not as high as technology-rich places like Silicon Valley and the rest of the West Coast. An IT specialist in Tampa can expect to make $61,000. The average employee in IT makes around $49,000, which is about 14 percent lower than the national average.